NEW YORK — Federated Department Stores Inc. overcame a big obstacle Monday to its merger with R.H. Macy & Co., agreeing to sell six stores in the New York area to settle antitrust questions.
But the combined Macy-Federated will be without one of its top managers: Macy Chairman Myron E. Ullman III, scheduled to become deputy chairman of the merged company, said he will resign in January, after the deal is completed.
New York State Atty. Gen. G. Oliver Koppell had threatened a lawsuit to try to block the merger if Federated failed to divest itself of some stores in the New York area. Macy's branches compete with Bloomingdale's A&S and Stern's branches throughout the metropolitan New York area.
Under the preliminary agreement, Federated has two years to sell the six stores. Retailers including Sears, Roebuck & Co. and J.C. Penney Co. are believed to be interested in some of the stores.
Koppell originally demanded the sale of 12 Macy's branches, including the famed flagship store on Manhattan's 34th Street.
The six stores identified in the preliminary agreement do not include the two flagship Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores.
Ullman said Monday he would leave the merged company on Jan. 31. He is scheduled to become the Federated-Macy deputy chairman in early December, when the merger is expected to be formalized. He will remain on the Federated board until the Federated annual meeting in May.
Only the timing of Ullman's announcement was a surprise. It had been expected that Ullman, widely respected for having restored Macy's financial health over the last 2 1/2 years, might be lured away by other companies looking for a CEO.
However, in an interview Monday, Ullman said he had no immediate plans.